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Publications (7)17.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related mixed cryoglobulinemia (MCG), the non-enveloped HCV core protein (HCV-Cp) is a constituent of the characteristic cold-precipitating immune complexes (ICs). A possible correlation between HCV-Cp, virological, laboratory and clinical parameters in both untreated MCG patients and those undergoing specific treatment was explored. HCV-Cp was quantified by a fully automated immune assay. Correlations between HCV-Cp and HCV RNA, cryocrit, and virus genotype (gt) were investigated in 102 chronically HCV-infected MCG patients. HCV-Cp concentrations strongly correlated with HCV RNA levels in baseline samples. An average ratio of 1,425 IU and 12,850 IU HCV RNA per pg HCV-Cp was estimated in HCV gt-1 and gt-2 patients, respectively. This equation allowed to estimate that, on average, HCV-Cp was associated with viral genome in only 3.4% of the former and in 35% of the latter group of patients. The direct relationship between HCV-Cp and the cryocrit level suggests that the protein directly influences the amount of cryoprecipitate. Although the therapy with rituximab (RTX) as a single agent resulted in the enhancement of HCV-Cp levels, in patients treated with RTX in combination with a specific antiviral therapy (pegylated interferon-alpha plus ribavirin) the prompt and effective clearance of HCV-Cp was documented. Our data provide evidence that HCV-Cp has a direct effect on cold-precipitation process in a virus genotype-dependence in HCV-related MCG patients.
    Arthritis research & therapy 03/2014; 16(2):R73. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Survivin (SVV) is a protein that belongs to the inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) family and is involved in the G2/M phase progression of the cell cycle as a spindle‑associated molecule. The biological features of this protein are well documented and its activity appears to be involved in mitochondria-dependent and -independent antiapoptotic pathways. Overexpression of SVV at the transcriptional and translational level has been associated with cancer, a multifactorial disorder in which the occurrence of a -31G to C polymorphism in the promoter region may significantly contribute to the development of this pathology. To verify this hypothesis, the occurrence of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in cis-acting cell cycle-dependent elements (CDEs) and in cell cycle homology regions (CHRs) of the survivin TATA-less promoter was investigated. A total of 23 oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines and normal epithelium-derived normal human epidermal keratinocyte (NHEK) cell lines were analyzed by RFLP and direct DNA sequencing of their promoter region. Furthermore, survivin expression at the transcriptional and translational levels was evaluated in these cells by RT-PCR and Western blotting, respectively. The findings indicate that the presence of a G or C allele is not directly correlated to survivin expression, at the mRNA or at the protein level, at least in the OSCC lines analyzed in this study.
    Oncology letters 09/2011; 2(5):935-939. · 0.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pattern of inhibition of cell proliferation and cytotoxicity in vitro by 1,4-bis(1-naphthyl)-2,3-dinitro-1,3-butadiene (Naph-DNB) was evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and the trypan blue (TB) dye exclusion assays in nine murine and human cell lines of different histologic origin. In our culture conditions Naph-DNB showed a good inhibiting activity against all cell lines tested, with IC(50)s varying within a narrow micromolar range of concentrations (2.0 +/- 0.2-14.3 +/- 2.3 microM). In particular, murine P388 (leukemia), human Jurkat (leukemia), A2780, PA-1 (ovarian carcinoma) and Saos-2 (osteosarcoma) cells showed the highest sensitivity to the inhibiting potential of Naph-DNB, while human A549 (non small cell lung cancer, NSCLC), MDA-MB-231 (breast cancer), HGC-27 (gastric cancer) and HCT-8 (colon carcinoma) were the least sensitive cell lines. Moreover, the analysis of cytotoxicity of Naph-DNB evaluated by the TB test showed that this compound was able to kill cells with IC(50)s ranging from 1.7 to 39.2 microM. The study of the induction of apoptosis was carried out by 4'-6-diamidine-2'-phenylindole (DAPI) staining of segmented nuclei, western blot of p53 protein and TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling (TUNEL) method, while the interaction with DNA was evaluated through the analysis of interstrand cross-link (ISCL) formation. Our data show that in all cell lines tested Naph-DNB was able to form ISCLs, to upregulate p53 oncosuppressor-protein and to induce apoptosis. Moreover, TUNEL analysis also suggested that Naph-DNB, similarly to other anticancer drugs, was able to block cells in the G (0)/ G (1) phase of the cell cycle. In conclusion our data suggest that Naph-DNB may be an effective novel lead molecule for the design of new anticancer compounds.
    Investigational New Drugs 12/2004; 22(4):359-67. · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Apoptosis provides a mechanism for clearance of unwanted cells in a variety of situations in which programmed or physiological cell death occurs; but the premature death of defensive cells could promote infection, inflammation and concomitant diseases. Polymorphonuclear cells (PMN) of gingival sulcus play an important role in host defense against periodontal tissue-invading bacteria, but their phagocytic activity is conditioned by several virulence factors released by oral pathogens. Polyamines derived from oral bacteria frequently occur at concentrations approaching 1 mM in gingival fluid at diseased periodontal sites. Brief exposure of PMN to polyamines shortened the lag culture time required to observe microscopical or DNA fragmentation traces. Increase of Fas/Apo-1 expression and caspase-8 and caspase-3 activation focused two typical steps in the pathway of the pro-apoptotic mechanism exhibited by polyamines, even if to a different extent: spermine > spermidine > putrescine. The possible role played by polyamines in the pathogenesis of periodontal disease by dysregulating apoptosis of gingival PMN is discussed.
    Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 02/2004; 26(1):93-101. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HSP27 belongs to the Heat shock protein (HSP) family, which plays essential functions in cells under physiological conditions and prevents stress-induced cellular damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the biological role of HSP27 in oral tumorigenesis. Seventy-nine cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma and 10 cases of normal mucosa were analysed for HSP27 expression by immunohistochemistry. Moreover, the western blot analysis was performed on two cases of normal mucosa and five cases of OSCC. Normal oral mucosa showed a suprabasal expression of HSP27. Twenty-four cases of SCC (30.7%) showed a diffuse staining for HSP27, and 48 cases (60.3%) showed instead a decrease in staining, which was diffuse, homogeneous, or with alternation of positive and negative areas in a single tumor ("mosaic" pattern). Only 7 cases of OSCC (7.5%) were completely negative for HSP27. Frequency of lymph node metastases was higher in HSP27-negative tumours (3/7, 42.8%) than in HSP-reduced (16/48, 33.3%) or positive ones (5/26, 19.2%). Regard staging, stages I and II had a higher score than stages III and IV (stage I > stage II > stage III > stage IV). There was also a statistically significant correlation between HSP27 expression and grade: HSP27 expression was reduced in poorly differentiated tumours (P < 0.05). When analysed for prognostic significance, patients with negative/reduced HSP27 expression had poorer survival rates than the group with positive HSP27 expression (P < 0.05). The statistical analysis of these findings showed no significant correlation between HSP27 expression, sex, and tumour size. Cases with reduced expression were more aggressive and poorly differentiated. These data suggest that HSP27 expression may be useful in order to identify cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma with more aggressive and invasive phenotype providing novel diagnostic and prognostic information on individual patient survival with oral cancers.
    Histology and histopathology 01/2004; 19(1):119-28. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular mechanisms involved in the development of oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are not yet well understood. Evidence of recent studies suggests that aberrant beta-catenin signalling may participate in the neoplastic transformation and that it is implicated in the development of several tumours. Beta-catenin is a component of the catenin family and plays a crucial role in cadherin mediated cell adhesion. However, it has recently been shown that beta-catenin is also involved in other functions such as intracellular signalling and the regulation of gene transcription. The aim of this study is to evaluate the presence of mutation in exon 3 of the beta-catenin gene in 20 OSCC cell lines. DNA was extracted using Qiagen Qiamp DNA minikit and a region encompassing the exon 3 of beta-catenin gene was amplified using a single PCR assay. The PCR products were analysed by SSCP and direct sequencing to detect any mutation of the gene. Most of the cell lines examined showed, by immunofluorescence, a beta-catenin delocalization. SSCP and sequence analysis of the PCR products did not show any mutation of the beta-catenin gene in any of the cell lines. In conclusion, although aberrant expressions or abnormal localization of beta-catenin have been detected in several OSCC cells, it appears that this finding has no relationship with beta-catenin gene mutations.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 18(3 Suppl):33-8. · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fibroblasts play a key role in tissue healing by producing the majority of extracellular matrix components, favouring granulation tissue formation, and stimulating re-epithelialization. Hyaluronan is a component of ECM and its anti-inflammatory effects and properties in enhancing wound closure are well known. In this study, we examined the effects of Aminogam gel, a new pharmacological preparation suggested to improve wound healing, composed of hyaluronic acid, proline, lysine, glycine and leucine, on human fibroblasts. Results show that fibroblasts treated with hyaluronic acid plus aminoacid solution increased their proliferative activity, collagen I and III, and fibronectin synthesis. Moreover, HA plus aminoacid solution increased the expression of transforming growth factor beta, connective tissue growth factor, interleukin-6 and -8, assayed by RT-PCR. These results suggested that Aminogam gel, involved in several stages of wound healing, as fibroblast proliferation, granulation tissue formation, ECM component deposition, and production of cytokines, may be a useful device to favour and accelerate wound closure.
    International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology 22(2):485-92. · 2.99 Impact Factor